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Expect with mortal pain : say where and when 384 Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel?
To whom thus Michael. Dream not of their fight, As of a duel, or the local wounds Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil Thy enemy; nor so is overcome
390 Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise, Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound: Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works In thee and in thy seed : nor can this be,
395 But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Obedience to the law of God, impos'd On penalty of death, and suffering death, The penalty to thy transgression due, And due to theirs which out of thine will grow: 400 So only can high justice rest appaid. The law of God exact he shall fulfil Both by obedience and by love, though love Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment He shall endure by coming in the flesh
405 To a reproachful life and cursed death, Proclaiming life to all who shall believe In his redemption, and that his obedience Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits To save them, not their own, though legal works. 410 For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, Seis'd on by force, judg’d, and to death condemn'd As shameful and accurs'd, nail'd to the cross By his own nation, slain for bringing life;
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,
415 The law that is against thee, and the sins Of all mankind, with him there crucify'd, Never to hurt them more who rightly trust In this his satisfaction; so he dies, But soon revives ; death over him no power 420 Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light, Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems, His death for man, as many as offer'd life
425 Neglect not, and the benefit embrace By faith not void of works : this God-like act Annuls thy doom, the death thou should'st have dy'd, In sin for ever lost from life; this act Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, 430 Defeating sin and death, his two main arms, And fix far deeper in his head their stings Than temp'ral death shall bruise the victor's heel, Or theirs whom he redeems, a death-like sleep, A gentle wafting to immortal lifeeng
435 Nor after resurrection shall he stay Longer on earth than certain times to appear To his disciples, men who in his life Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge To teach all nations what of him they learn'd 440 And his salvation, them who shall believe Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign Of washing them from guilt of sin to life Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
For death, like that which the Redeemer dy'd.
So spake th’ Arch-Angel Michaël, then pausid,
O GOODNESS infinite, Goodness immense !
By me done and occasion'd, or rejoice
475 Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
To God more glory, more good will to men
Be sure they will, said th’Angel; but from Heaven He to his own a Comforter will send,
486 The promise of the Father, who shall dwell His Spi'rit within them, and the law of faith Working through love, upon their hearts shall write, To guide them in all truth, and also arm
490 With spiritual armour, able to resist Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts, What man can do against them, not afraid, Though to the death, against such cruelties With inward consolations recompens’d,
495 And oft supported so as shall amaze Their proudest persecutors: for the Spirit Pour'd first on his Apostles, whom he sends To evangelize the nations, then on all Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue 500 To speak all tongues, and do all miracles, As did their Lord before them. Thus they win Great numbers of each nation to receive With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
Their ministry perform’d, and race well run, SOS